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The Outside Track was named after the first tune that the band played together. This tune was never recorded and is not performed by the band any more. The band came together at the University of Limerick and developed a distinct identity. However, there were the usual line-up changes: Mairi Rankin from Cape Breton replaced the English fiddle player Tricia Clarke and the Irish guitar player Cillian O’Dalaigh replaced Alan Jordan. Unchanged from the start are the flute player and singer Norah Rendell from Vancouver, the Scottish accordian player Fiona Black and Scottish harp player Ailie Robertson.
Norah Rendell is the vocal figure head: “Curious..” starts with the traditional song “Turkish Revery”, a song that I hadn’t heard before and it’s a pity that we have been denied this song until now! The sleeve says that Norah has learnt it from Daithi Sproule, who picked it up from his mum’s Burl-Ives-LP. Next is the instrumental piece “Le Voyage” from the French-Canadian accordian player Eric St-Pierre, followed by the traditional North-American piece “Silvy Silvy”. The next set of tunes leads back to known territory, with Frankie Gavin’s jig “Doberman’s Wallet”. Most of the material is of previously unknown material, with a few exceptions – Jerry Holland’s “Malcom’s…” that has also recently been recorded by Rua MacMillan and John Faulkner’s “Joe…”, that can also be found on the latest Lunasa CD. These are rounded off by a few original compositions. The Jubilee Polka was written after the Celtic Ladies Jubilee Tour and it was about time that somebody came up with a tune for crusty the clown! The mixture of instrumental tracks and songs that were not discussed in more detail is also extremely interesting. Their arrangements are imaginative and the playing is faultless. Celtic music – full of energy and virtuosity.